Every NFL team wants a leader on the back end of their defense who commands respect, and a versatile presence who can make plays at every level of the field.
Utah’s Jaylon Johnson checks both of those boxes.
A complete player who knows how to rally a unit to victory, Johnson recently spoke exclusively with MCM about why he’s so excited for the combine, the best wide receivers he had to cover this season, and more.
JM: What are you most excited for as you go through this process?
JJ: The most exciting part about this process so far has been training for the combine. Obviously it’s the first time I’m going through this and it’s been an exciting few months for me. I’m excited to go out there and compete with the best college football players in the world. It’s a huge opportunity to showcase my athletic ability and what I can do on the field. I’ve been working hard and I’m well prepared to take my body to the next level.
JM: That’s awesome. Are you excited for any drills in particular?
JJ: I’m looking forward to all of them honestly. I can’t single anything out. I’ve been dreaming about competing in the combine and playing in the NFL since I was a little kid. I’m excited to be that much closer to making my dream come true. The opportunity to compete in any of the drills at the combine is a blessing. I plan on making the most of my time there. It’s really just about the basic movements of football. I’ve been doing them my entire life really.
JM: As you’re getting ready to transition to the next level, is there a coverage scheme that maybe you’re more comfortable playing in?
JJ: Not at all. I’m comfortable with man coverage, zone and anything else they can throw my way. I look forward to any opportunity that puts me on the field and allows me to compete at a high level. I just wanna make plays. I’m not too worried about any schemes. I feel like I’m versatile enough to play in any scheme.
JM: Who are some of the best wide receivers you covered this past season?
JJ: I have to name a couple. I can’t single it down to just one name. Tyler Vaughns from USC was a good one. Brandon Aiyuk from Arizona State definitely comes to mind as well. Those were some of the guys that were tough covers. We played against great receivers on a weekly basis but those two names stick out for sure.
JM: Those are two great receivers right there. You’ve had some great teammates throughout your time at Utah, but if you were going to war tomorrow and could only bring one with you, who would you bring and why?
JJ: That’s a tough question. I would probably say Julian Blackmon. That’s my boy right there. He’s a special, selfless type of person. I know he would have my back. He put his body on the line for us on a weekly basis. That’s just the way he is. He’s an extremely tough person. I would have to say Julian Blackmon.
Jaylon Johnson allowed a passer rating against under 60.0 in each of his three seasons with the Utes. pic.twitter.com/cxjRICgsDG— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 12, 2020
JM: Is there one NFL quarterback that you’d love to intercept?
JJ: I would probably have to say Tom Brady just because he’s the greatest quarterback of all time. I can’t pick anybody else. That’s the GOAT right there. My answer would most definitely be Tom Brady.
JM: That’s a fair choice. What are some of your hobbies outside of football?
JJ: I don’t really do too much to be honest. I’m not much of a hobby guy. I enjoy spending my time away from football with my family and friends. We don’t get a lot of down time so I just enjoy kicking back with my loved ones and enjoying their company.
JM: How will you look back on your time at Utah?
JJ: It was a great time in my life. It was the biggest and best decision I’ve ever made. I can look back at it and smile. That decision set me up everything I now have ahead of me. I learned so much throughout my time at Utah. Those coaches really developed me both as a man and as a player. They supported me through everything and put me in a position to succeed in life. I love that program and I love those coaches.
JM: That’s a great answer. I’ve appreciated your time today, Jaylon. In closing, what kind of impact is Jaylon Johnson gonna make at the next level?
JJ: Jaylon Johnson is gonna make a big impact at the next level. I’m gonna bring a lot of confidence and energy to whichever team drafts me. I’m a cornerback that can make big-time plays on the ball. I’m excited for what’s ahead.